Brampton, Ont. – Team United States (USA) sits atop the team leaderboard by one-shot over Team Sweden following the opening round of the 2023 World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms at the Brampton Golf Club in Brampton, Ont.
Mia Hammond of New Albany, Ohio shot a 3-under 68 to take the individual lead and help lead Team USA to a combined 3-under (139) on Wednesday. Chloe Kovelesky of Boca Raton, Fla. shot an even par 71 which included a string of four straight birdies on holes 14 through 17. Molly Brown Davidson of Springville, Ala. shot a 1-over 72 for Team USA. The top two individual scores count towards the combined team score each day.
Team USA Coach Mo Martin was proud of her team following the opening round and their preparation heading into the tournament, “They are so talented and they’re all playing really well. We had a couple really great practice rounds so they’re putting well, hitting it well, had a really good feel for the course. They were really dedicated in their practice rounds, really took it seriously and they wanted to play all 36 holes, I tried to actually take them away from finishing that, but they really wanted to finish. I know Molly got in a day late, so they stuck with her so that cohesion they’ve just melded so quickly and so well, that I think it’s great dynamics and they’re incredibly talented.”
They’re just great people so that’s made me the most proud as a coach that they’re good competitors, they’re kind, they’re cheering for their teammates and they’re happy to be here and also to meet all the other countries, it’s a really special event,” added Martin.
Team Sweden sits in second at 2-under (140), Team Canada 1 and Team England are tied for third at 1-under (141) with Team Belgium rounding out the top five at even par (142).
As the host nation, Canada is fielding two teams in the tournament. Team Canada 1 is comprised of 17-year-old Vanessa Borovilos of Toronto (1-under 70), 14-year-old Anna Huang (E 71) and 16-year-old Vanessa Zhang (1-over 72), both of Vancouver.
Team Canada 2 sits at 12-over (154) and features 14-year-old Eileen Park of Red Deer, Alta. (6-over 77), 16-year-old Luna Lu of Burnaby, B.C. (6-over 77) and 14-year-old Miranda Lu of Vancouver (7-over 78).
The following are round-one team results at the World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms:
|1||United States||-3 (139)|
|T3||Canada 1||-1 (141)|
|T6||South Korea||+1 (143)|
|9||Czech Republic||+3 (145)|
|T12||Chinese Taipei||+6 (148)|
|21||Canada 2||+12 (154)|
Click here for the full team competition leaderboard.
In the individual competition, Hammond takes a one-shot lead into Thursday’s second round over Anatasia Hekkonen (Finland), Larissa Carrillo (Mexico) and Savannah de Bock (Belgium) who all shot rounds of 2-under 69. Five golfers sit tied for fifth following rounds of -1 70 including, Nora Sundberg (Sweden), Nellie Ong (England), Matilda Björkman (Sweden), Vanessa Borovilos (Canada 1) and Pella Sol Sigurbrandsdottir (Iceland).
Hammond recorded four birdies in her round with only one bogey on the par five 17th hole. Hammond credited her ball striking for a strong opening round, “It was one of those rounds where everything went well for me. I was a little nervous on the range this morning, I wasn’t hitting it my best but after a couple shots on the course I got my swing back intact and putts started to fall after a few holes, and it was a pretty steady round.”
Click here for the first round individual leaderboard.
This year marks the largest field in tournament history, with a total of 66 athletes comprising 22 teams and representing 21 countries competing for the team and individual titles. This year’s field for the World Junior Girls Championship, presented by Sargent Farms is highlighted by eight competitors currently ranked inside the World Golf Amateur Rankings (WAGR) top-100 including the tournament’s top-ranked player, Spain’s Rocío Tejedo Mulet (no. 23). Spain and South Korea both feature two players ranked inside the WAGR top-100, with Spain’s Andrea Revuelta Goicoechea (no. 33) and South Korea’s Hyojin Yang (no. 60) and Soomin Oh (no. 67).
Defending champions Spain (2017 & 2022) is tied with South Korea (2015 & 2019) for the most victories in the event’s seven-year history, with two each. Other team winners include the United States (2014), Philippines (2016), and Italy (2018). South Korea and Sweden are tied with the most podium finishes in tournament history with four each. Canada’s best finish in the team competition was third in 2014 and fourth in 2018. A history of past individual and team winners is available here.
Several players who have competed in the World Junior Girls Golf Championship have gone on great success on the LPGA Tour, led by Canadian Brooke Henderson, a 13-time LPGA winner and Canada’s winningest professional golfer, who finished fourth in the individual competition at the inaugural championship hosted in 2014.
Other notable competitors who went on to become LPGA Tour winners include Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand who won back-to-back World Junior titles in 2018 and 2019 as well as Yuka Saso of the Philippines who won the 2016 World Junior title. The 2023 CPKC Women’s Open winner, Megan Khang of the United States competed in the inaugural tournament in 2014. Other former World Junior competitors who have gone on to win on the LPGA Tour include Hannah Green of Australia and Maja Stark of Sweden.
The individual champion will receive an exemption into the 2024 CPKC Women’s Open being held at Earl Grey Golf Club in Calgary from July 22 – 28, 2024.
For second round tee times, please click here.